“You can’t pair that rug with that couch, they don’t match!”
How many times have you heard something like that from the decorator police, those friendly busybodies who want to tell you what’s okay in the world of home decor? For many of us, we’ve heard it one too many times.
But why should we? Those kinds of rules only apply if you strictly want to be either a by-the-book conformist or if you have a singular passion and collection that’s best seen in its etirety. And in today’s era of pastiche design and eclectic home decor, it’s the rare person who wants absolutely every last thing to be from one look, era, or style.
It happens, and it can be fabulous — say, if you want to create the feeling when someone walks in your door that they’ve just stepped onto the set of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel! Or maybe that they’ve stepped back in time to the Revolutionary era on the set of TURN!
If you have the patience, persistence, cash flow, access, and drive to bring a singular look alive in your spaces, by all means, that can be fantastic! And moreover, we can help you with that because we carry many furniture pieces and accessories from both of those eras and styles and many more — Regency, Pre-War, Art Deco, Mission, Eastlake, Art Nouveau, kitsch, contemporary, etc.
But for most of us, decorating is a process wherein we’re drawn a little bit to this style, a little bit to that one, and pulling it all together is part luck, part design, part shopping, part hand-me-down and inheritence, part pure chutzpah!
So if you’ve ever wanted or needed permission to have a house (or apartment, or Airbnb, or even Airstream trailer!) full of eclectic and mismatched things, consider this your invitation to join the party!
You can get plenty of ideas for eclectic decor simply by strolling through our showrooms which are full of well-coordinated scenes as well as unique juxtapositions that will make you stop and say, “Wow, I never would have thought of that!”
So how do you get started with furnishing and decorating your place with an eye to the eclectic?
First off, remember that there are no rules beyond this: DO WHAT YOU LIKE!
If you want a Civil War era curvy red velvet couch in the living room and a big TEXACO sign on the wall behind it, go for it! It’s your place and maybe you like both the mid 19th century and petroliana! That’s perfectly fine. In fact, it’s cool!
If you like antique wire and wood birdcages with little frills and curlicues on the one hand, and poker straight Scandinavian minimalism on the other, we say, why the heck not?
And if you want something from every period under the sun, the walls covered end to end, knick-knacks perched on every surface, collectibles of all varieties adoring every nook and cranny, that’s a fun and completely eclectic look, too!
Some folks will tie rooms together by shape, color, or a theme, like signage, or sculptural pieces, or great textiles, while rooms vary from room-to-room.
Whatever you choose to do remember, it begins with what you love. If it’s history, find old prints, great leather-bound books, and memorabilia from important events like elections, World Fairs, or famous figures.
If it’s Native American culture that moves you, find the weavings, textiles, and pottery from different tribes and regions which have openly traded in fair market pieces (non-sacred).
If you love pop culture, by all means, get those movie posters from the golden age of Hollywood, old editions of Life magazine, and kitchy advertisement ephemera and fittings.
Start with trusting what you love, and add to that trusting that when you combine it with other things that you love or are simply drawn to even if you don’t know why and the end result will be your own eclectic stamp on decorating.
And we can help. With over 8,000 square feet of carefully curated antique and vintage offerings in a neat, clean, and easy-to-see format, we’ve likely got something you just can’t resist. Come in and see!
–Ellen Boden, Proprietress, Staunton Antiques Center